Skip to main content

Conservation

Landowners in Deep South Protect 700,000 Acres of Wetlands with USDA Help

Private landowners in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana have protected 700,000 acres of critical wetlands in the past 25 years, which accounts for one-third of all wetlands under USDA conservation easements in the country. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and several conservation partners recently celebrated this milestone by visiting one of the landowners who used a conservation easement to restore and permanently protect the wetland.

A Million Acres Scorched by Montana Wildfires

Dry conditions plagued Montana this summer, with multiple wildfires torching over 1 million acres throughout the state. The largest fire, the Lodgepole Complex fire, impacted over 270,000 acres. Recent rain and snow, and the forecast for continued precipitation, help to suppress the fires and provide welcome relief for Montana residents.

Conservation Couple: From Bay Area Business Owners to Award-Winning, First Gen Ranchers

Byrhonda Lyons of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contributed this blog on USDA’s work in conservation partnerships.

When Mike and Kathy Landini packed their belongings into friends’ trucks and left Concord, Calif., for Elk Creek, Calif., they had no idea what their new life would bring. They were looking for a quieter place to raise their children. 

Footprints on the Range

“I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like busy highways,” says Crawford, Texas rancher Larry Mattlage. “That crazy world out there can get me frustrated and upset. This land is where I am most at ease.”

He was raised on the land his German immigrant grandfather settled on in the late 1880s. The 400 acres Mattlage now owns — High Prairie Ranch — has been in the family since 1904.

Spurring Agricultural Innovation Across the Nation

“He would often dream up new ideas and inventions that he would build in his shop and implement on his farm. Most all of them worked better than anything else available. He never faced a hill that he didn’t think could be flattened with a lot of hard work and determination, and he taught those around him to question the conventional wisdom and not be afraid to boldly seek new ways of doing things.” -from Leroy Isbell’s obituary in the Stuttgart Daily Leader, 2014

Chris Isbell didn't set out to make history. He was just following in his father's footsteps.

New Data Unveil Underground Detroit

Soils experts from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently completed a five-year project to map underground Detroit.

“Now planners, developers and others in Detroit can use our soils data to understand their soil’s ability to support green infrastructure, development and urban agriculture,” said Luis A. Hernandez with NRCS’ soil science division. “Knowing what’s under the city helps decision-makers prioritize their planning based on soil features and other specific needs to soundly achieve their land use goals.”

Spring Weather Events Cause Devastation and Planting Delays

April showers bring May flowers. That is what many would like to have seen Mother Nature deliver this spring. Instead, late April brought an onslaught of unusual weather across the country.

Excessive rainfall caused record-breaking floods in the central U.S., a blizzard pelted the High Plains, devastating tornadoes tore through Texas and wildfires continued to blaze in the southeast.

Climate Hubs and 4-H: Partnering with Tomorrow's Leaders to Sustain Agriculture Today

Agriculture in the United States faces significant challenges in the years ahead, perhaps none greater than the projection of approximately 9 billion people worldwide to feed by mid-century. Meeting this challenge will require an estimated increase in agricultural production of more than 70%. This increase that will need to occur over an ever-declining land base and one that will necessitate a paradigm shift in agricultural equivalent to that of the green revolution.